The once-regular England international has barely featured over the past few seasons and is currently no more than a mere squad player at Villa with little hope of breaking into the first team.
At 33, Cole still has plenty of football in him before he hangs up his boots and has conceded that he’s seeking a move away from Villa Park and willing to drop down to the Championship.
!I’m desperate to play so maybe we will have a look at it after the weekend and possibly drop down a level - on loan or something like that - just to play football," he is quoted as saying by the Mirror.
While his lack of recent playing time may put off a number of second-tier clubs vying for promotion, there are one or two who could use the extra bodies and Forest are among them.
The East Midlands outfit suffered during the summer as a result of their transfer embargo, being unable to bring in anyone on a permanent deal and losing Michail Antonio on deadline day to West Ham United.
Antonio’s exit has left a huge void at the City Ground, one which Nottingham Forest have tried to patch up with the loan acquisitions of Ryan Mendes and Nelson Oliveira.
The latter, a former Portuguese Under-21 international, is predominantly a striker but the lack of wide players available to Dougie Freedman saw the Benfica-owned man evidently played out of position against Hull City.
With Forest still under an embargo, loan options are as good as they’ve got and, in need of extra competition in wide areas, Cole would represent a decent short-term option.
The former Liverpool man still possesses technical ability in abundance along with intelligence and leadership skills - traits which could also come in handy among the club’s younger stars. That's if his physicality is up to the Championship.